New York Giants And Jets Could Play Two, Or Zero, Preseason Games

New York Jets, Luke Falk

The preseason is traditionally the first time that NFL fans get to see how their teams look in real games before a new season, but the New York Giants and Jets could end up not playing a preseason at all. The alternative seems to be two games, compared to the normal four.

The news is being reported by Pro Football Talk and has been reported by other sources too by now. According to the early reports, it’s the league that’s decided on this so far. That doesn’t mean that the player’s association has went along with these plans, however.

The NFL has decided to cut the preseason in half. NFL Media reports that the NFL Players Association has yet to sign off on this. Which makes sense, because the NFLPA hasn’t signed off on anything, including the league’s protocol for facility and locker-room virus safety.

The NFLPA and the NFL still have multiple issues to work out and it remains to be seen what the player’s association’s stance is on the length of the preseason. With training camp not starting until late July, the timeline between that and the regular season could be awkward if the preseason is played. The regular season, after all, is set to begin during only the second week in September, which doesn’t leave time for a long preseason.

If the league does end up having no preseason, that will make the start of the season all the more interesting for both teams in New York. The Giants have a new head coach and many changes, while the Jets have a coach on the hot seat. Neither team will know just how their new additions and strategy will pan out until the regular season, if there’s no preseason to give any early indications.

But then again, preseason results generally aren’t accurate when it comes to predicting the course of the regular season. We may just have to wait until September to see both New York teams in action once again.

New York Yankees: 2020 is crucial for Tyler Wade and Clint Frazier

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

In the shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season, teams are permitted to have up to 30 players on the active roster. With that being said, young up-and-comers Tyler Wade and Clint Frazier are very likely to see a spot on the New York Yankees roster all season.

Over the last few seasons, both players have been on the “taxi squad”, going up and down from AAA frequently. Neither of them have been able to make a big enough impact to stay on the roster for an extended period of time.

But, with the two players aging and minor league options dwindling, the Yankees may have to make decisions on them soon. Because of that, 2020 may be the most important season of their young careers.

Young and unproven

Although both players have shown promise, neither has been good enough to sustain a long-term roster spot.

Clint Frazier has shown a ton of offensive promise, but lacks defensively. He has a career .254 average in at-bats, but has -11 defensive runs saved in 100 games in the outfield.

Tyler Wade is kinda the opposite of Clint Frazier. Wade can play everywhere and has a ton of speed. His defense isn’t great with -5 defensive runs saved, but it’s the offense that really lacks. His career average is only .197 in 218 at-bats.

Unless either of the two has a breakout season, I have a hard time seeing them as possible pieces in the future. I’m sure they are frustrated with the lack of Major League playing time and wishing to develop on a younger and less crowded team. Trades for the players during the offseason may be what’s best for everyone if something doesn’t come out of this season.

Yankees Owner Hal Steinbrenner Expects Fans at Yankee Stadium

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is very optimistic that the Yankees will have some sort of fan presence at Yankee Stadium this year.

In an interview earlier today with YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits, Steinbrenner said, “I do expect to see fans in our stadium at some point to some degree, and that’s going to be a great day as well.” 

He went on to say the stadium will “at first” be 20-30% full. He is confident that management can provide the proper precautions for fans to stay safe in the stadium. 

Teams can create their precautions regarding fans in stadiums. However, Commissioner Rob Manfred must approve them before they can be put into action. 

The MLB put out a statement that read, “The commissioner has made no decisions regarding permitting fans at games. The decision will be based both on whether local health authorities approve fans to attend games and whether our medical advisors believe it is appropriate to do so.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been very vocal about allowing sports venues to hold sporting events but hasn’t talked about allowing fans in attendance. 

The Yankees will stay in their home stadium for workouts and simulated games leading up to July 23rd. From there they will travel to Washington to take on the defending champs in primetime action. 

New York Yankees: What should fans expect from Gerrit Cole in shortened 2020?

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees are officially back in business, and they were shown on the field Thursday afternoon. Of course, the standout that everyone was excited to see is the Yankees ace, Gerrit Cole. The Yankees 326 million dollar man threw on Thursday against the likes of Aaron Judge and Luke Voit.

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You can feel the excitement from Yankees fans everywhere about Cole’s debut later this month. Of course the expectations are high for Cole, but what should fans expect in this shortened season from the ace?

The reality is that fans need to be realistic with their expectations for Cole. In a 60 game season, Cole is currently scheduled to get 12 starts assuming he stays healthy. Cole is not going to go 12-0 with a 0.00 ERA. It will only take one bad start to really inflate the numbers to give the appearance that Cole isn’t having an elite season.

New York Yankees & Gerrit Cole realistic expectations

If we are looking at the 12 starts, I think that 8-3 with a 3.37 ERA is a realistic line for Cole in his first season in pinstripes. Yes, the ERA is significantly higher than it was last year, but you have to keep in mind that Cole will be pitching in a new environment with less room for error. He’s still going to show everyone that he is arguably the best pitcher in the game, but there might be a slip-up here or there.

I think the Yankees need to go into this season with a World Series or bust mentality. However, fans should be realistic on the expectations for the individual players. Aaron Judge is not going to hit 300 with 25 home runs, and Gerrit Cole is not going to have an ERA under one. This season is going to be fast and furious, and with less room for error, fans’ patience is going to be running thin in the pressure cooker that is New York. I think Cole is going to show out this year, but it’s important to be realistic about what we should expect as fans.

Yankees and Mets’ stars played “secret” games in recent weeks to stay sharp

New York Yankees, Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

Coronavirus forced MLB to suspend the start of the season, which was scheduled for March 26, indefinitely. Uncertainty then broke into the scene, and players had to figure out ways to keep themselves in shape in case baseball came back eventually, which it did. That’s why a group of stars, including some in the New York Yankees and New York Mets, found creative solutions.

According to Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic, New York Yankees’ outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and New York Mets’ pitchers Robert Gsellman and Michael Wacha took part in “underground” baseball games in recent weeks to stay sharp with the start of the season in mind. Other known players to participate were aces Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, respectively.

The group of players was led by Eric Cressey, who the Yankees hired this season to supervise their training, strength and conditioning programs. His wife Anna worked alongside him, and they all trained at Cressey’s gyms while eventually playing games.

“If people knew what we were doing, we would have had 10,000 people at Palm Beach Gardens High School to watch us,” Cressey told Ghiroli.

The Mets had several players taking part

The games featured strict social distancing rules that forbade sliding and included the use of up to 56 different baseballs. In one of those games, per SNY.tv, the Mets’ Gsellman started opposite his now-teammate Wacha.

Also in attendance were New York Mets’ hurler Noah Syndergaard, who was present to rehab his surgically-repaired right elbow. He will miss the 2020 season but will come back in 2021 in what will be his final year of arbitration eligibility.

Training camps are opening and all teams, including the Mets and the Yankees, will start hosting “Summer Camp” in preparation for the season that is slated to start on July 23.

UFC: Should athletic commissions show live scores in between rounds?

How many times have we heard UFC President Dana White tell his fighters or the media that you cannot leave fights in the hands of the judges. The reality of the situation is judging in MMA is far from a perfect science. Think of all of the terrible decisions we’ve seen over the years in MMA. Well, the Kansas Athletic Commission is trying something out that just might change the game.

That’s right, at tonight’s Invicta event, fighters will be able to know the scores after each round. Now, the fighters and their corners are not left guessing at what’s going on in the judges head. This is something that I’m a huge fan of. Think about it from the fighters perspective. A fighter might believe they have two rounds in the bag so they might try to coast in round three, but two judges have the fight 1-1. Now the fighter is forced to go all out in the third round knowing it’s do or die.

The UFC has been filled with terrible decisions over time. The UFC has also been filled with a bunch of fighters who completely take their foot off the gas when they think they have the fight won. Let’s think about a couple of tough decisions that went against former UFC welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks (18-8).

Decisions that could have changed UFC history

Bigg Rigg’s first tough decision loss came at UFC 167 against the great Georges St. Pierre. Anyone who was watching that night knew that Johny Hendricks was winning that fight. All 16 analysts from MMADecisions.com gave the fight to Hendricks. Going into the fifth round, everyone on those scorecards and one of the official judges had Hendricks up 3-1. However, two of the judges had the fight dead even at 2-2.

Hendricks coasted through the fifth round, and he didn’t fight with a ton of urgency. It was clear that Hendricks believed that he had three rounds in the bag. St. Pierre took the round and took the split decision to retain his UFC welterweight title. Hendricks was devastated and Dana White labeled the Nevada Athletic Commission as a “Atrocious” after the fight calling for the governor to get involved.

Less “What ifs?”

What if Hendricks knew going into the fifth round that two of the judges had it tied? Hendricks would have busted out of the gate trying to convince those two judges that there’s no way he should lose the fight. Same thing happened to Hendricks against Robbie Lawler at UFC 181.

Revealing the scores live would create less suspense before the cards are read. Now you could also see much more urgency in the final rounds of fights. At the same time, you could say that it would cause fighters to really take their foot off the gas if they know for a fact that they are up two rounds to one. It’s an interesting debate, but I’m all for the fighters knowing exactly where they stand in the eyes of the one ones that matter during a fight.

New York Mets: July 9 set as the date for interested parties to bid on the team

New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon

We may be reaching the end of a very long saga. According to Charles Gasparino of Fox Business, Allen & Company set July 9 (a week from now) as the date for every interested party in buying the New York Mets to submit their bids.
Allen & Company is the firm in charge of managing the sale of the Mets. Gasparino said that among the people interested in bidding appears a familiar name: Steve Cohen, the hedge fund billionaire that came very close of acquiring the team from the Wilpons just a few months ago.

Talks between Cohen and the Wilpons broke down in February.

The bidding heated up recently after a few cold weeks, with other groups in, like the one formed by former Yankees’ star Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez and Mike Repole; and the one fronted by sports entrepreneurs Josh Harris and David Blitzer.

Seven groups want to buy the Mets

In total, there are at least seven groups interested in bidding for the New York Mets, who pushed to qualify for the playoffs last season but ultimately came short of their goal.

Scott Soshnick of Sportico reported that the Mets are hoping to complete the sale by the end of the year.
Last week, it was reported that brothers David and Simon Reuben were also interested in the Mets, but Soshnick said that they may seek the enhanced real estate opportunities around Citi Field rather than the team itself.

Current New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon last updated the situation on June 11.

“The team will have some kind of transaction,” Wilpon said during a panel for the UJA-Federation of New York, per Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report. “I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be and how it’s going to look, but we’re working towards a transaction and there’s four or five suitors that are out there to do something with and a bunch of philanthropic planning and family planning that my dad and my uncle want to do. And it’s totally fine. And when we have something to truly announce and tell you about, we’ll do that. Not going to play the speculation game or get in any kind of competition with Page Six or Variety Magazine.”

New York Mets: How is Dellin Betances doing?

New York Mets pursuing Dellin Betances.

The New York Mets made a splash on Christmas Eve by signing one of the most talented relievers in the free agent market. They announced that Dellin Betances, who had spent all of his career with the New York Yankees, would now play in Queens and join what is shaping up to be a very solid bullpen, despite last season’s blunders.

However, Betances suffered a partial Achilles tear back in September and also dealt with diminished velocity during spring training. The question, then, is: how is he doing? Will the Mets clear him for summer camp?

The normal approach by the New York Mets, given the time he was away and how slowly he progressed back in March, would be to say that they will bring him along step by step and we won’t know for sure if he’s fully healthy until we see him pitch. But the team, per Anthony DiComo, seems to be hyping their prized reliever.

The Mets are excited by his current physical state

“We are extremely excited about where he is physically,” said general manager Brodie Van Wagenen this week. “He’s been one of the players that has been off a mound and able to face real hitters here over the course of the last couple weeks in live batting practice, simulated games, however you want to describe it. He’s had multiple sessions where he’s faced Major League hitters over the course of the last couple weeks, and he’s encouraged. Our performance staff evaluated him over the last couple of days, and we’re ready to see what he looks like when we start going here.”

Back in Spring Training, he got treatment on his left Achilles every day, suggesting that it was still an issue. That’s why, in part, his velocity remained in the low-90s when we are used to see him in the mid-to-high 90s. But the truth is that it is normal for him to start around that velocity, only to ramp it up in a few weeks.

The Mets’ wild card reliever (he can close or come out to put any fires given his strikeout ability) has had three more months to recover and looks ready to roll.

New York Yankee News: Watch Aaron Judge Crushing Home Runs today

It was this morning in Ramsey, New Jersey that a guy showed up at Don Bosco Prep School field, the guy was New York Yankees Aaron Judge. Judge was dressed in a Yankee cap, a white T-shirt and dark blue shorts. The apparently secret practice was arranged by Jason Ferber, the well-known New York-based baseball coach.

Aaron Judge got behind the plate and started hitting homer after homer that laughed at the field fences before the ball traveling into the woods.  Ferber said: What fractured rib he looks super healthy right now.”

Looking at the video below has to be heartened to New York Yankee fans. But be warned not to take too much stock in what you see.  Playing a grueling 60 game season in 66 days with the stress involved is very different than a short batting practice.

Aaron Judge suffered a stress fracture in his first rib diving for a catch at Yankee Stadium late last season.  It started showing up as shoulder pain that Judge endured during the offseason and continued in spring training 1.0.  It was finally found to be a collapsed lung and rib fracture after a battery of tests and MRIs.  The collapsed lung has resolved itself, but the rib fracture has been slow to heal.

Both General Manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone have indicated that they are optimistic that Judge will be ready to start the season, but have not ruled out that he may miss at least a few games. Boone yesterday said that summer camp 2.0 would be telling with many of the previously injured players.

Players started to arrive at Yankee Stadium yesterday to begin two days of physical exams and testing, including Masahiro Tanaka that has arrived back from Japan.  It appears after watching the video of Judge today that the Yankees may be being conservative with their comments on Judge’s recovery.  Time will tell.

 

New York Yankees’ regulars will do some sitting in the early going

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

While some teams will prioritize their star power to take advantage of the short schedule and win critical games, the New York Yankees will use their incredible depth to their benefit, especially in the position player side of things.

It is a wise decision given that some of the Yankees’ stars, including Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks, are coming back from long-term injuries that have a certain re-aggravation risk.

New York Yankees’ skipper Aaron Boone said that, with 60 games in 66 days and only 17 days to get ready for the season, he will sit regulars in the early going and insert them progressively with each passing day.

“As much as there’s the urgency of a 60-game season, an injury can wipe out a season in a hurry if you’re forcing a guy more than they’re probably ready for early on in the season,” Boone said “You have an injury in a 60-day season, now all of a sudden maybe it cost them half a year, or the season for that matter.”

That likely means that players such as Judge, Hicks or Giancarlo Stanton will take some games off in the early going or occupy the designated hitter position, while outfielders such as Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman stand to benefit from the situation and play a lot in the early going. You can throw Miguel Andujar into that group, as well.

The Yankees’ depth will help

It also means that Andujar could spell Gio Urshela at third for a start or two, Mike Ford could play some games in first base in the early going and Tyler Wade’s name could appear at shortstop instead of Gleyber Torres’. By that logic, Kyle Higashioka will catch more than a couple of times per week.

The Yankees are going to open their summer camp on Saturday, at Yankee Stadium. The season for them will start on July 23 against the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital.

“The bottom line is we’re going to try and make evaluations on an individual basis about where we think guys are physically,” Boone said. “If we feel like they’re ready after this three-week stretch to go and do their normal workload and play every day, so be it.

“But we also know and trust in our depth. If you look at our team, and if we’re fortunate enough to be healthy at the end of this camp, we feel like we have a lot of players that are capable of being everyday players that won’t necessarily be that. We’ll lean on those guys, especially in the early days, to make sure we’re building guys up properly.”